Second budget version voted

Oconee County councilmen, meeting as the budget committee, have accepted a substitute budget as presented by Scott Moulder, the county administrator. The council accepted an amendment from District One’s Paul Corbeil that restores $60 thousand for animal spay and neuter and adds $50 thousand for the Mountain Lakes Convention Visitors Bureau. The new budget version holds county spending to under $41 million and reflects general cuts to help offset the costs of state-mandated services. The state’s failure to fully fund the Local Government Fund was a sore spot again for the councilmen, with budget chairman Reg Dexter leading the criticism of the state legislature. Last night’s meeting began under the watchful eye of several rows of dressed up veterans, worried that the county might cut funds for veterans’ services. But, from the outset last night, the councilmen made clear the veterans have no need to worry.